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Communications of the ACM

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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

December 2020


From ACM TechNews

To the Brain, Reading Computer Code Is Not the Same as Reading Language

To the Brain, Reading Computer Code Is Not the Same as Reading Language

Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University neuroscientists have found that reading computer code activates different brain regions than reading language does.


From ACM TechNews

City Researchers Reveal Link Between Coding of Cryptocurrencies and Their Market Behavior

City Researchers Reveal Link Between Coding of Cryptocurrencies and Their Market Behavior

A connection between the coding of cryptocurrencies and their market behavior has been identified by researchers at the U.K.'s City University of London.


From ACM TechNews

iPhones Vulnerable to Hacking Tools for Months, Researchers Say

iPhones Vulnerable to Hacking Tools for Months, Researchers Say

Researchers said spyware sold by Israel's NSO Group incorporated a zero-click zero-day exploit that could commandeer iPhones via a flaw in iMessage.


From ACM TechNews

Social Work Faculty Uses AI to Fight Substance Abuse in Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Social Work Faculty Uses AI to Fight Substance Abuse in Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Researchers studied more than 1,600 youths and used algorithms and machine learning tto determine how and when to intervene with regard to substance use disorder in homeless youth.


From ACM News

Google's Antitrust Cases: A Guide for the Perplexed

Google's Antitrust Cases: A Guide for the Perplexed

The company is facing multiple lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice and three dozen states.


From ACM News

Microsoft: 2021 is the Year Passwords Die

Microsoft: 2021 is the Year Passwords Die

The software giant has highlighted the strides it made to kill off passwords in 2020, and has stated that it plans to make them a thing of the past for all its customers in 2021.


From ACM News

Microsoft's Lessons for Google

Microsoft's Lessons for Google

What the Microsoft case teaches us about antitrust and the power of Big Tech today.


From ACM TechNews

Super Surfaces Use Terahertz Waves to Help Bounce Wireless Communication Into the Next Generation

Super Surfaces Use Terahertz Waves to Help Bounce Wireless Communication Into the Next Generation

Princeton University researchers have invented a programmable "metasurface" that lets engineers control and focus incoming terahertz waves.


From ACM TechNews

Tiny Quantum Computer Solves Real Optimization Problem

Tiny Quantum Computer Solves Real Optimization Problem

Researchers showed that a small but well-functioning quantum computer was able to solve a small portion of a real logistics problem in the aviation industry.


From ACM TechNews

Up to 3 Million Devices Infected by Malware-Laced Chrome and Edge Add-ons

Up to 3 Million Devices Infected by Malware-Laced Chrome and Edge Add-ons

Researchers warned Wednesday that up to 3 million devices have been infiltrated by malware-impregnated Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browser extensions that steal personal data.


From ACM News

More Hacking Attacks Found as Officials Warn of 'Grave Risk' to U.S. Government

More Hacking Attacks Found as Officials Warn of 'Grave Risk' to U.S. Government

Minutes after the government statement, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. warned his administration would impose "substantial costs" on those responsible.


From ACM News

AI Needs to Face Up to its Invisible-Worker Problem

AI Needs to Face Up to its Invisible-Worker Problem

Machine-learning models are trained by low-paid online gig workers. They're not going away—but we can change the way they work, says Saiph Savage.


From ACM News

Google Hit by Antitrust Lawsuit from nearly 40 States over Alleged Search Monopoly

Google Hit by Antitrust Lawsuit from nearly 40 States over Alleged Search Monopoly

The search giant is now facing three major antitrust lawsuits.


From ACM News

In a First, Air Force Uses Artificial Intelligence Aboard Military Jet

In a First, Air Force Uses Artificial Intelligence Aboard Military Jet

No weapons were involved, and the plane was steered by a pilot.


From ACM News

Major Computing Breakthrough: Copenhagen Researchers Can Now Achieve “Quantum Advantage”

Major Computing Breakthrough: Copenhagen Researchers Can Now Achieve “Quantum Advantage”

University of Copenhagen researchers have developed a chip that, with financial backing, could be scaled up and used to build the quantum simulator of the future.


From ACM News

Keeping It Local

Keeping It Local

A breakthrough in energy-efficient artificial intelligence.


From ACM TechNews

Making Data-Informed Covid-19 Testing Plans

Making Data-Informed Covid-19 Testing Plans

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a Web-based Covid-19 testing impact calculator.


From ACM TechNews

AI Can Predict Twitter Users Likely to Spread Disinformation Before They Do It

AI Can Predict Twitter Users Likely to Spread Disinformation Before They Do It

Artificial intelligence predicted the likelihood of Twitter users spreading disinformation, using natural language processing techniques to analyze about 1 million tweets.


From ACM TechNews

The Gig Workers Taking Action to Regain Control of Their Data

The Gig Workers Taking Action to Regain Control of Their Data

Complaints against ride-hailing company Uber bring the issue of gig workers' data rights into sharp relief.


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Decode Neural Mechanisms of Computer Programming

Scientists Decode Neural Mechanisms of Computer Programming

Johns Hopkins University scientists mapped computer programmers' brain activity during coding exercises to uncover the underlying neural processes.


From ACM TechNews

An LED That Can Be Integrated Directly Into Computer Chips

An LED That Can Be Integrated Directly Into Computer Chips

Researchers have developed and built a silicon-based LED that can be integrated directly onto a computer chip.


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Digitally Rebuilt Dinosaur's Brain, Made Some Surprising Discoveries

Scientists Digitally Rebuilt Dinosaur's Brain, Made Some Surprising Discoveries

A dinosaur's brain reconstructed through advanced imaging and three-dimensional modeling suggests the sauropod may have been bipedal and occasionally carnivorous, unlike later relatives.


From ACM TechNews

New App Tracks Black Rhinos Through Their Footprints

New App Tracks Black Rhinos Through Their Footprints

The footprint-identification technique uses software to track black rhinoceros' movements via smartphone-recorded footprints, in order to protect the animals from poachers.


From ACM TechNews

Vaccinated? Show Us Your App

Vaccinated? Show Us Your App

Recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine may eventually be given digital health credentials in order to travel, go to work or school, visit entertainment venues, and more.


From ACM News

Intel Not Inside: How Mobile Chips Overtook the Semiconductor Giant

Intel Not Inside: How Mobile Chips Overtook the Semiconductor Giant

The need for custom options and improved power management in all applications—not just mobile, but PC and cloud—helped Arm beat Intel and win over the world's tech giants and startups alike.


From ACM TechNews

Create Realistic VR Experience Using Normal 360-Degree Camera

Create Realistic VR Experience Using Normal 360-Degree Camera

Scientists at the U.K.'s University of Bath have captured 360-degree virtual reality video footage using a commercially available camera on a rotating selfie stick.


From ACM TechNews

Deere's Farm Version of Facial Recognition Coming to Fields in 2021

Deere's Farm Version of Facial Recognition Coming to Fields in 2021

Agriculture giant Deere & Co. plans to roll out a system next summer that combines machine vision and machine learning to improve the identification of individual plants and weeds.


From ACM TechNews

Tiny Four-Bit Computers Are Now All You Need to Train AI

Tiny Four-Bit Computers Are Now All You Need to Train AI

IBM researchers have proposed reducing the number of computer bits from the current industry standard of 16 to just four.


From ACM News

'Electronic Amoeba' Finds Approximate Solution to Traveling Salesman Problem in Linear Time

'Electronic Amoeba' Finds Approximate Solution to Traveling Salesman Problem in Linear Time

Researchers at Hokkaido University and Amoeba Energy in Japan developed an analog computer to find a reliable, speedy solution to the traveling salesman problem.


From ACM News

The Next Best Thing to Being There

The Next Best Thing to Being There

Encouraged by the pandemic, augmented and mixed realities bring new views to end-users in medicine, industry, and the military.